Gugulethu protest declared illegal

At least 40 people have been arrested for public violence in the East Rand township.

Angry residents of the Gugulethu informal settlement on the East Rand during a violent protest in the area on 5 May 2014. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality on Monday described a service delivery protest in the Gugulethu informal settlement as illegal.

The council vowed to clamp down on those who continue to use violence to vent their anger.

More than 40 people have been arrested for public violence in the East Rand settlement since protests broke out this morning.

An Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) tent meant for Wednesday's general elections was torched in the protest.

The municipality has declined to address residents about their grievances until they've appointed community leaders to represent them.

City spokesperson Themba Radebe says, "This is an illegal march, meaning that they haven't even prepared a memorandum of understanding that tells us their areas of concern."

Residents vowed to boycott Wednesday's polls if government does not deliver services.

Community members have blocked the main road leading into the area with rocks and burning tyres.

Some shops in the area have been forced to close down after residents threatened to loot them.

Earlier, locals declined to speak to journalists about their grievances, choosing instead to hurl stones at reporters and an Eyewitness News vehicle.

Authorities are yet to confirm claims that one person was shot and killed in the area on Monday morning.

Concerned residents have appealed to government to deploy the South African National Defence Force to protect the East Rand informal settlement.

Last month, five people were murdered in the area, including a seven-month-old baby.

It's believed a group, known as the 'Basotho Gang', had been terrorising people in the area.